Friday, February 7, 2014

"Either There Is An America, Or There Isn't"


The following is what should obviously be referred to as... self explanatory.

David Simon on Billionaires and the Demise of the Social Contract from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.



When my parents first arrived in NYC in the early fifties, they first settled in SOHO (of all places) which was hardly the chic area of residence then, more industrial than neighborhood. They settled into a cold water flat for fifteen dollars a month, later moving to Brooklyn when the rent was raised to twenty. They arrived unskilled, got low tier manufacturing jobs, and as my father recalled, "You could get fired one morning and get the same job in another place that afternoon."


The point is, you could afford to live on what you made; jobs were plentiful, shelter anything but luxurious- nevertheless affordable, and available. Yes, it was a time when "lift yourself up by the bootstraps" was a reality, not some empty, long dead axiom. Now you have young couples both of whom are working full time (often in addition to P/T) minimum wage jobs vying with recently, and not so recently, unemployed college grads well over fifty- for those same dead end jobs. Now you have corporations paying their workers so little they have to rely on food stamps to survive.

Incredibly, once your average American who wanted to get ahead could attend a City College... tuition free! Now, more than half of college professors constitute (are you ready for this?)- the working poor!   The point is, the bootstraps are long gone. For many Americans, it's no longer about the dream- it's about mere survival. But the so called "job creators" keep insisting that we should get on our knees and thank our lucky stars that they exist and tolerate us, as they give themselves million dollar bonuses, and get multi-million dollar tax payer funding for their personal pet projects while deliriously decrying the wanton excess of raising a long (LONG...) overdue raise in the minimum wage.



4 comments:

TomRS said...

This isn't just America it's here in the UK and I'm sure just about everywhere. Greed has replaced responsibility on a global scale.

Stan B. said...

"Greed has replaced responsibility on a global scale."

That's about right- the new economics, the new religion, the (not so) new way of life for our 21st century...

Eric Rose said...

Greed fuels EVERYTHING. Well maybe not everything but it sure seems that way. To thine own self be true has been perverted in it's meaning and this new interpretation has taken over. I'm so sick and tired of it all I've just about given up.

Stan B. said...

Eric- We're all just hanging by a thread, and those that don't know it, are those in the most danger- or the most dangerous.